Music Week x Girls I Rate presents: Mentor Me - Autumn Rowe

Music Week x Girls I Rate presents: Mentor Me - Autumn Rowe

Legendary songwriter Autumn Rowe has collaborated with some of the industry’s biggest names including Dua Lipa, Pitbull, Zendaya, Ava Max, The Knocks, Leona Lewis, Tori Kelly and Kali Uchis, and wrote the dance anthem behind the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Happiness, featuring Alexis Jordan. She is also a celebrated vocal coach, appearing on Season Two of The X Factor, and a talented DJ, who studied at Scratch Academy. As a Black and Jewish songwriter, she is passionate about fighting racism and anti-Semitism, and advocates for music creators as a member of the board of the Songwriters Of North America. Here, she shares her Top 5 tips for making it in the music industry...

1. Get educated

“Learn about the music business, watch documentaries, read books, get a mentorship, absorb all you can. Knowing your craft is only half the battle. Knowledge is more accessible than ever – use all your resources. So many of them are free! Though the industry is constantly evolving as technology is growing, the book All You Need To Know About The Music Business by Donald S Passman is still a must!”

2. Find your purpose 

“When times get tough, having a purpose greater than yourself is often what pulls you through. Figure out what that is and keep it in your back pocket for those tough days. My purpose since I was a child was to make it out the hood and show other little girls like me it was possible to achieve your dreams. Without this purpose, I’m not sure I could’ve held on so long.”

3. Put in those 10,000+ hours

“There really is no overnight success, or shortcut for success. Sometimes things look like they ‘just happened’ for someone, but this person has been preparing for this moment for years, which makes it all seem natural and seamless at times. The road is not meant to be easy, you might have to work a full-time job while writing demos. That is OK and normal. Very few things are a waste of time, I see them as skill builders. Most jobs I had before becoming a full-time writer have helped me later in life. They helped me build my communication skills, versatility and problem solving. I’m grateful for all of them.”

When times get tough, having a purpose greater than yourself is often what pulls you through

Autumn Rowe

4. Know your worth

“Despite what you are told, age and physical appearance are not what makes you an artist… your art does. There is a lot of money being made in making us feel like we are not good enough, but don’t buy it. The more you focus on your craft, skills and mind, the higher your confidence and self-worth will be, which will trickle down into everything else. The way you see yourself affects how everyone else sees you. Build your worth and own it. Be confident in who you really are.”

5. Write down your goals

“At the beginning of every year, I make a yearly vision board with new goals – one side for personal and the other side for career. Write your goals down, say them out loud and be specific. What do you really want? What is the long game and short game, and how are they working together? The years I wrote the most songs with the top writers and producers were my least successful; I was on autopilot. I was writing to write, but now I only write when I have something to say. I pick projects which inspire me to want to write. Sometimes when I’m discouraged, I look back at myself a year ago and appreciate the growth, even if it’s small. This helps me stay on track, knowing that – even if in baby steps – I am moving forward.” 

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